World News

Colombian parents win concessions

Cardinal Salazar, right, said such ideology was ‘destructive’ (CNS)

Bishops in Colombia have welcomed their government’s decision not to promote or implement gender ideology in schools following mass protests last week.

A meeting between President Juan Manuel Santos and three bishops took place last week. After the meeting the president made a public statement on the issue.

The bishops thanked the president for agreeing to talk to them and said they “received with satisfaction the announcement of the national government and the ministry of education that they will not promote or implement gender ideology in the country”.

Protests were sparked by reports that the ministry was preparing teaching manuals for schools promoting homosexuality and teaching that there is no fundamental difference between male and female.

In a statement the ministry said that a UN document entitled “Discrimination-free School Environments” had been published on the UN’s website in order to be discussed, but that Colombia’s ministry of education would not be authorising the document.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s bishops said that protests in the country were “an exercise by the parents of their right to be assisted in educating their children in accordance with their convictions and values.”

They also stressed the importance of respect “for every human being regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, national or family origin, language, religion or political opinion.”

Before the protest Cardinal Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogota had said gender ideology was a “destructive ideology, [it] destroys the human being, taking away its fundamental principle of the complementary relationship between man and woman”.

Bishop Barron: Every page of Chesterton is ‘champagne’

When it came to championing the faith, GK Chesterton fought with “verve and passion, and panache” in his works, Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles has said.

He reflected a deep attitude of love and joy, the bishop said. “Every page of Chesterton is like a bottle of champagne.”

Bishop Barron lauded the contributions of the English writer during the 35th Annual Conference of the American Chesterton Society at Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania.

He addressed the audience of more than 300 via Skype in introducing his new series, Catholicism: The Pivotal Players. Chesterton is profiled in the series, and the gathering had the opportunity to view the episode featuring him.

Bishop Barron told the conference that he became a “passionate Chestertonian” in the 1970s and 80s when the Church was in the midst of an intellectual upheaval. “It gave me a light and a point of reference during a confusing time,” he said. The bishop spoke of how he saw Chesterton as a “happy warrior” in defending the faith, in an age when he saw many “angry warriors”. He said Chesterton taught him that the “most compelling offer on the table” is classical Christianity.

Hollande travels to thank Pope

Pope Francis met privately at the Vatican with French President François Hollande. Hollande said he felt it necessary to thank the Pope in person for his words after the slaying of a French priest and other terrorist attacks in France.

Before the meeting Hollande visited a chapel set up as a place of prayer for the victims of terrorism. The chapel, in Rome’s French national church St Louis, honours Fr Jacques Hamel along with those killed in Paris and Nice.